What We Get Wrong About Evangelism, by Hannah Herum

Outreach.

If you’ve spent much time in the American Church, you’ve definitely heard the word. Churches create programs, classes and schools teaching it. Books upon books have been written about it—which is why I feel terribly conflicted writing on the topic. So much noise, and yet so little outreach.

Why? Why is it that the thought of sharing the Good News of Jesus’ love, life, death and resurrection fractures most Christians to their core? Why is it that so many of us feel so un-empowered to do it?

Well, there are a lot of reasons, all well worth exploring. However, I’m not here to answer them or give each a solution. Instead, I’d like to suggest one fundamental shift. I suggest that, as Christians, we begin to think of outreach as a state of being.

Hang with me for a second.

I know that most churches and ministries organize outreach “events” and that the very way we teach on outreach is all based upon direct actions within the world. I am not suggesting that we take away from or nullify any of that. What I am proposing is simply a new framework, a new lens.

What if followers of Jesus began to think of outreach as a lifestyle? A way of moving, existing and inhabiting our space in this world? What if outreach was about developing what Proverbs 22:9 calls, “a bountiful eye?” An eye that looks and sees the dignity and worth and brokenness and need in each person we encounter? What if outreach is about living with what the Psalmist calls in Psalm 40:6, “an open ear?” Ears that are constantly pressed to heaven to hear the heart of God for our neighbors, co-workers and the grocery store cashier?

What if outreach was really about being in love?

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Source: Relevant Magazine

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